The M&K Foundation, an organization that raises scholarship funds for Oconee County students, is holding its first big fundraising event since 2012. 

The “casino night” fundraiser will be Saturday, Feb. 19, from 7-10 p.m. at the Oconee County Civic Center. 

Games will include craps, roulette, Texas hold-‘em and black jack. There will be a photo booth providing both printed photos and the ability to share your photos digitally. 

The Foundation plans to have hor d’oeuvres stations and various drinks, including cocktails, beer and wine. There will also be “big winner” prizes available. 

People can get individual tickets, or businesses and organizations can sponsor a table. The “high roller” table sponsorship is $2,000 and includes eight tickets, event signage and both social media recognition and recognition on the foundation’s website. There is the “House Edge” table sponsorship, priced at $1,000 and includes eight tickets. 

The “card shark” table sponsorship is $1,500, which includes eight tickets, event signage and social media recognition. The “pit boss” donation allows organizations to make a $1,500 or $2,000 donation without having to sponsor a table. 

Jeffrey Hackleman, president of the M&K Foundation, said the goal of the event is to not only bring in donations but to raise awareness about the foundation. 

“A lot of folks aren’t familiar with the M&K Foundation and its important role in the community,” Hackleman said. 

The M&K Foundation was started in 1984 after the Oconee County Rotary Club decided to honor Melissa Norris and Karen Nasworthy, who lost their lives in separate car accidents in Oconee County in 1983. 

Since then, the foundation has provided more than $200,000 in college scholarships and leadership training to over 250 students, according to the foundation’s website. 

“(The casino night) is going to be an opportunity to really celebrate a good thing,” Hackleman said, “and to contribute to something that will have an impact on the future generation.” 

Currently, the M&K Foundation hands out scholarships to four students from Oconee County High School and to four students from North Oconee High School. 

The foundation also gives scholarships supporting youth in FFA, 4-H and Extra Special People. 

For anyone wanting to sponsor a table or get tickets for Casino night, visit the foundation’s website at mandkfoundation.organd select the “2022 Casino Night” tab at the top of the page. Donations can also be made on the foundation’s website. 

For more on this story, see the Jan. 20 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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